Thirty-two months since the Boeing 737Max was grounded in Ethiopia, following two fatal crashes in late 2018 and early 2019 involving the aircraft type, Ethiopian Airlines is now set to return its Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft back to regular commercial services from 1 January 2022, at the earliest.
According to OAG schedules update, Ethiopian Airlines intends to resume flying the 737 MAX 8, regularly operating services to Istanbul Airport (IST) Turkey, Cairo Airport (CAI) Egypt, Khartoum Airport (KRT) Sudan, Akanu Ibiam Airport (ENU) Nigeria, Entebbe International airport (EBB) Uganda, Prince Said Ibrahim Airport (HAH) Comoros, Fascene Airport (NOS) Madagascar and Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) Seychelles serviced from Addis Ababa’s Role International Airport (ADD).
Africa’s largest airline still retains orders for new max planes and has publicly acknowledged that it is satisfied with the software upgrades and has since reached a settlement with the American aerospace giant, Boeing.
“I can confirm that we are committed to the Boeing 737max. My estimate is by the end of the calendar year or beginning of next year, January, we will be flying the airplane,” said Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam in September adding that he was convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” with the Max upgrade by Boeing and that it is now safe.
“We are happy on the settlement,” he added confirming reaching a settlement with the giant airframer.
Approaching the relaunch, the entire aviation industry worked to build faith in the aircraft and show the public that flying the 737max jet is safe.
Nearly 400 active 737max aircraft were grounded and since then, Boeing, aviation authorities and airlines worked to rectify an issue with the aircraft’s maneuvering characteristics system (MCAS) and recertify the MAX for commercial flight.
Currently, Ethiopian Airlines has a fleet of four 737 max (grounded) and 25 Max on order.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo